To finish off my 2012 triathlon season, I participated in the Murten Triathlon, an Olympic distance race with a slightly longer bike leg of 45 km. In 2012, the race doubled as the age group Swiss Championships; this, together with the beautiful weather, contributed to a large and deep field.
After travelling across half of Switzerland, setting up transition and wandering around for a while, the start of my wave drew closer. Here we are on shore, a few minutes before being sent off:
The swim was a simple out and back where the main difficulty was to find the right buoy to turn around:
The waves doing the half iron distance were already gone and I’m pretty sure the turn buoy was then moved, so nobody accidentally swam too far.
This is the moment of the start, with the pros getting a little head start:
And upon very close inspection, I found myself in the picture:
Despite a hefty kick into my goggles after a few seconds, I didn’t drown. The swim split might suggest otherwise, but I think it was my fastest swim split in an Olympic distance ever. The official timing included the first transition, but my watch told me the good news.
As usual, the transition zone was quite calm when I entered it, making the task of finding my bike very easy. This is the transition zone even calmer than when I saw it:
The bike course was a single loop lollipop-style layout:
Mostly flat in the beginning (and end) with a hilly section in the middle.
As soon as I was in the saddle, I remembered what I had wanted to do before going to the swim start: one of the brake pads on the front wheel was rubbing the tyre when breaking and I should have adjusted it. Who wants an exploding front tyre, right? Unfortunately, the pad was still not adjusted and I had to remember not to use the front brake too often or too hard.
The course was beautiful with breathtaking views of the region. Also breathtaking were the hills, especially the downhills with curves in the end (remember my braking handicap).
Despite feeling okay on the bike and thinking my effort was alright, it was not a great time. I did catch up a few places, but that’s because I’m usually very far behind after the swim.
On to the run to save the day! The run portion was two laps of this:
Very flat along the lake. Just as I started, the first elite woman finished. The run went well, I passed a few people, and thanks to being a little short even the pace looked good.
The finishing area was a nice patch of lawn near the lake:
I am on the left. Don’t mind the girl. The photographer did a great job of catching me, i.e., my shoulders and back of the head:
After the good feeling of having finished had settled and chatting with friends was done, a slight frustration set in over a less than mediocre result. Was the field too strong? Was I ill-prepared? Should I learn to swim? Spend actual time in the saddle? So many questions.
For the rest of the year, though, the focus would be on running!